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Rum, ribs, bourbon and beer? Oh go on then! Don’t have to ask me twice. So off we went to Cane and Grain Manchester, on a sunny Saturday lunch time.

If you follow this blog, you’ll know I have a soft spot for American food, particularly dirty-south food. The good stuff. The stick-to-your ribs stuff. So when I read the menu at Cane and Grain, I knew I was in for a treat. 

I’d saved myself all week for this. Turned down the Friday night takeaway and skipped breakfast that morning, just so I could fill myself with as much food as possible. Well I might as well be honest. We were the first ones in there (well, I think it was 11.59am) and nabbed the table in the corner by the window so we could people watch.

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We had the little lady with us, so we were quickly grabbed a high-chair, offered drinks and set-up with the menus. Now what to choose…what to choose…

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Ok this bit took a while. Did I want a sandwich, burger or ribs? Did I want beef or pork or fried chicken? Did I want…well, you get the picture.

I dabbled with the idea of a Boneless Roll for a while then immediately got food envy when hubby mentioned he was going for the Short Ribs with Hot As F*ck Fries, so opted for ribs. Now Baby Back or St Louis? I had a quick chat with the super friendly and knowledgeable waiter and opted for the slightly fattier and juicier St Louis Ribs (cut from the belly). Which sauce? We both opted for the Jim Beam, sticky, smoky “Grain” sauce. I also”pimped up” my fries and went for Truffle Cheese Fries. Yes!

A dirty-south meal wouldn’t be complete without a variety of sides to share. We went for the Jalapeno Hush Puppies, Deep Fried Pickles, Sauteed Greens and Beans and a half pint of Truffle Mac and Cheese. Anyone who measures their Mac and Cheese by the pint is alright with me.

Before long we were greeted with tin trays of deliciousness and a pretty serious amount of food (oops, did we over order again?). We almost didn’t have enough elbow room on the table, but we managed…when there’s a will there’s a way.

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I tucked into my St Louis Ribs which were moist, melt-in-the-mouth and just the right amount of stickiness. I dipped the meat into the Grain sauce for added naughtiness and mopped up the juices with my stunningly cheesy fries. (These by the way are a MUST order).

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The hush puppies were light and peppery and the deep fried pickles were perfectly sized, perfectly tangy and not the slightest bit greasy. The little lady enjoyed her greens and beans (which made us feel like we were being at least a bit healthy) and the mac and cheese…well…look at it!

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The other half was enjoying his beef short rib immensely. I kind of always forget that you can order beef ribs too. Probably less famous than its porky counterparts, beef short ribs are a taste sensation. More meaty in flavour I’d say and pull off the bone easily. He did wimp out on eating many of the Hot As F*ck Fries, which he assured me were Hot As F*ck! So not for the faint-hearted those ones.

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It didn’t take long before I realised I was going to be beaten by my rack of ribs. They were so big! I received no judgement from the waitress when I caved and she kindly boxed-up the leftovers for me (midnight snack?).

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Wiping the meat sweat from our brows, we did take a cursory look at the desserts (one peanut butter, chocolatey, salted-caramel delight had my name on it) but couldn’t bring our overloaded stomachs to take on the challenge. So instead we vowed we’d come again and maybe order one less side so we could squeeze in some of the sweet stuff.

So that’s what we’ll do, as we will definitely be going back to Cane and Grain Manchester. The setting is informal but comfortable, the food is surprisingly authentic and it’s slap bang in the middle of the Northern Quarter, perfect for a stroll (or bar crawl) afterwards.

Have you been to Cane and Grain yet? Where else do you like to eat in the NQ?